By Olivia Frye

A juvenile playing with matches seems to be the cause of a recent fire in Farmersville.

Fire Capt. Brian Kyle said that the fire started after a juvenile was playing with matches in the back bedroom of a two-story home at 412 W. Petunia St. in Farmersville.

The home did not have a working smoke detector, so by the time fire crews arrived just after 3:16 p.m., the house was engulfed in flames.

A total of 24 firefighters were on the scene, with three fire engines. Firefighters were assisted by two investigators from Tulare and Porterville.

A family of six was home when the fire started. A grandmother and another member of the family were trapped upstairs and were forced to crawl through an upstairs window to escape. Relatives and neighbors quickly helped the two family members reach the ground safely by using a ladder. All family members were able to escape safely.

The fire was controlled at 3:43 p.m. and firefighters remained on the scene until 9:10 p.m.

Estimated damages were $220,000. The fire also managed to spread to a neighboring house causing $15,000 in damages to the east exterior wall and attic. The neighboring residents also owned the home where the fire started. At the time of the fire the home was listed for sale.

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